SPRINGFIELD – The mandatory sexual ethics training for all pastors will be April 17-20 at four locations:
Persons may choose to attend any of the four training sessions, which will be from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with lunch served at noon. Registration will be $10 per person. Online registration is available through April 10.
Michelle Foster, clergy ethics coordinator for the Western North Carolina Conference, will be the trainer for the four sessions. She has led workshops and consulted on Clergy Sexual Ethics in the Western North Carolina Conference, Mississippi Conference, and the Michigan and Detroit Conferences. She has also served as a consultant to many other conferences as addressing clergy ethics, especially as it relates to sexual ethics and the appropriate use of technology within the church and its ministries.
According to the conference standing rules:
"Elders and deacons in full connection, associate members, probationary (provisional) members, full-time local pastors, part-time local pastors, student local pastors, retired clergy serving local churches, certified lay ministers, certified lay speakers servings as supply or in a regular preaching rotation in a church or charge, diaconal ministers under appointment, diaconal ministers seeking appointment, (pastors from) other denominations serving as supply, and any others deemed by the cabinet to need training."
"Excused absences may be granted only by the superintendent of record and only in cases of extreme personal or pastoral emergency in consultation with the district superintendent. Only one opportunity for make-up shall be granted. Persons unable to attend a training event shall be required to attend the succeeding annual event."
"Attendance shall be granted only for those persons present for the duration of the event. Partial attendance shall not be recognized, and such person shall be required to attend the next annual event."